GILFORD – The Selectboard unanimously approved a policy for a fitness center in the newly renovated police station that allows police to keep physically fit, which is a state requirement for most of them to continue as police officers.
Chief Anthony Bean Burpee said yesterday the space was allocated in the building plan but all of the equipment either comes from donations of town officers and a pool of money officers and staff all contributed to.
He said the town policy gives each officer an annual stipend of $300 to offset the costs of staying fit. He said the employees in his department all pooled the money, donated it to the Gilford Police Relief Fund and then used it to purchase additional equipment. Bean Burpee said that no other money in the fund was used for equipping the center.
The policy goes on to describe specific policies regarding its use, including doctor's waivers, providing for a program supervisor who is responsible for orienting all employees who will take the orientation before they use it.
Other standard provisions require a sign-in sheet, a provision that the room be kept clean and orderly, and one the recommends employees workout with others and not alone.
The policy states that the fitness center is open 24 hours a day, but that all will use the sign-in sheets.
In other town business related to the Police Department, selectmen approved a two-year contract with Teamsters Local 633 that represents the members of police department and calls for an additional $2,351 in raises in 2016. The contract also calls for $2,413 in raises in 2017.
Ice rink to open soon
Parks and Recreation Director Herb Greene said that because of the warm December, the ice rink was not able to open on the Jan. 11 target date. He said that they have been able to make ice this past week and is planning on opening it this weekend.
Selectmen's Chairman Gus Benavides encouraged all residents to use the rink because he recently saw some people skating on Lake Winnipesaukee and said he felt they were too close to open water. He said he is thrilled to have the rink open because this is a real safety concern for him and others.
Fire Department Lt. Jeff Marden said yesterday that the ice, especially on area lakes, is not safe for either ice fishing or skating and that his department has still not pulled its rescue boat from the water for the winter season. He said the department encourages all skaters to use the town rink.
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